Question is as title says. Is there any difference between refurbish and furbish or for all intents and purposes are they synonyms?

These are the 2 levels I would like to discuss:

Differences on definitions based purely on pedantry (i.e. which would you use based exactly on the definition)?

Which one is more used and in which contexts (ex. electronics are generally "refurbished")


  • 1
    What question may one answer that is not provided by a dictionary?
    – SrJoven
    Aug 27, 2014 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


They are, as you note, synonyms. I suppose that one might argue that furbish should be used for the first time an item is treated, and that refurbish should be reserved for an item which has already been furbished at least once.

In practice, however, I'd generally use "refurbished", as it is more commonplace, and less likely to distract the reader.


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